Bookmark and Share   Dec. 28, 2016   Vol. 8 Week 1 Issue 391

Ashwood bourbon bar proves serendipitous for newlyweds


The Ashwood Bourbon Bar has a new team at the helm as Brian and Lyndsay Clarke took over the restaurant mid-November. Lyndsay will be in charge of the front of house while Brian is in the kitchen cooking up Southern cuisine Thursday to Sunday evenings through the winter months. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)  

For Lyndsay and Brian Clarke 2016 has been a very good year. The couple of six years got married in May, purchased a converted West Perth Schoolhouse built in 1872 to call home in September and jumped at the chance to run The Ashwood Bourbon Bar in November.

“We always knew we’d make it to Bayfield eventually,” said Lyndsay, a Mixologist in charge of the front-of-house. “We just didn’t know it would be this quick.”

“Having a restaurant in Bayfield is a dream,” added Chef Brian. 

The couple learned that owner of The Ashwood Inn, Kirsten Harrett, was looking for people to lease the restaurant and Brian sent her an enthusiastic email to which she graciously offered them the opportunity.

“We came up and toured the place and in 48 hours had made our decision. It was a serendipitous event,” said Lyndsay.

The couple hit the ground running, unveiling a new dinner menu as well as a three or four course Holiday fixed price menu in mid-November. They noted that Harrett, Rob MacFie, Innkeeper Rebecca Luscombe and her husband, Ryan Malcolm, were a very welcoming and helpful team. The Clarke’s stated that in just a few short weeks they felt like a family working together.

“Brian’s parents live in the Harbour Lights condos across the street. Bayfield is like my Disney World so we are so happy they are a part of it,” said Lyndsay.

Brian expressed that he certainly has lucked out in his career having the opportunity to work with good chefs that taught him the tricks of the trade. He notes that the chefs he has worked for have given him the freedom to build menus. As former chef of Practical Henry’s in London, he has worked extensively in Southern Cuisine, cooking with bourbon, creating tasting menus as well as multi-course meals.  

“I have spent the last three years experimenting with the Southern style of cuisine and the atmosphere so the restaurant is still going to remain the Bourbon bar. With Canadian cuisine there are no set parameters – Canadian farmed ingredients mixed with foreign inspiration. My general rule is if it’s not delicious then it doesn’t leave the kitchen,” explained Brian.

Brian added that his wife is the perfect person to bounce things off of.

“She knows what wine to pair with what dish and she isn’t afraid to tell me when something isn’t good,” he said.

Lyndsay, who has managed a few restaurants in London, ON, studied in the Niagara Sommelier Program and what she took away from the this education was the ability to source VQA and imported wines with her husbands cuisine.

The couple is both looking forward to summer in Bayfield 2017. Lyndsay plans to unveil a “killer cocktail list” and is already preparing infused herbs and bitters in anticipation of the busy season. Brian is excited for the growing season to begin again so that he can incorporate locally grown food into his menu.

Brian noted that they plan to offer a more expansive menu with more “shareable” offerings and small plates.

“So if they come in for a drink they have something to nosh on,” said Brian.“We have some big plans for the summer, It is going to be fun.”

In keeping with the Bourbon theme of the restaurant they have brought in 10 new, rare Bourbons aged from four to 20 years, such as, Bib & Tucker and Michters.

However, they would like to be known as more than just a Bourbon bar. They have brought in local gins and vodkas from Perth, and other Canadian locations. In the New Year they are planning on bringing in shrubs (vinegars) and bitters from Canadian producers to ensure they have the best ingredients to make unique cocktails. 

The newlyweds are also looking forward to providing engaged couples the option of using them as caterers for weddings held at The Ashwood Inn and Deer Park Lodge in 2018.

One of the things Brian loves about Bayfield is how the “restaurants respect one another.” 

“Nobody seems to step on each other’s toes. All are unique to the town itself and each one is a piece of the bigger puzzle,” he said.

The Ashwood Bourbon Bar is currently open for dinner Thursday to Sunday from 4:30 to 9 p.m. In the New Year, they willl feature Buck-A-Shuck Thursdays and half price wine on Sundays. To view their current menu visit:

Bayfield Lions' Club announce 2017 Legacy projects 

Bayfield Lion Dave Nearingburg (left) and Lion Bob Merriman (right) were pleased to accept the contract from Bob Fisher, of Mill Road Manufacturing, in Brucefield, for the construction of a mobile stage.

On Monday, Dec. 19, Bayfield Lions’ President Bill Rowat and Treasurer Dave Nearingburg presented to Bluewater Council, the Club's projects for 2017 in celebration of Canada's 150th, International Lions’ 100th, and Bayfield Lions’ 70th anniversaries. The Club has approved three major projects costing a total of $45,000.

First, the Bayfield Lions’ Club has contracted with Mill Road Manufacturing, of Brucefield, to construct a mobile stage. It will be available for use by groups within the community at events like the Lions’ Walk for Dog Guides, the Bayfield Town Hall's “Sunset on Summer” and other outdoor events. It will be first used at the Lions’ Walk for Dog Guides on June 4.

Jim Wallace, of Sharpe's Creek Forge in Central Huron, shows Lion Don Vance (middle) and Lion Penny Overboe some Blacksmithing technique during a visit to his forge. The Bayfield Lions' membership has commissioned Wallace to create eight bike racks to be placed around the village as part of their 2017 Legacy projects. (Submitted photos)  

The second Lions’ project is the purchase of eight bike racks to be placed throughout the village. The Bluewater Heritage Advisory Committee has approved the rack design. The racks will be built by Jim Wallace of Sharp's Creek Forge, in Central Huron, to be ready for use in the Spring of 2017.

The Club's third project will focus on a number of items meant to improve Clan Gregor Square. The Bayfield Lions will fund the services of a Certified Arborist, to conduct a tree assessment and create a long-term tree management plan for the Square. By agreement with the Municipality, the Lions’ Club will fund the replacement of up to six trees deemed at risk and removed by the Municipality in the next two years. Brodie Tree Service is expected to provide and plant the large caliper replacement trees.

The Lions will also replace the existing old picnic tables in the Square with 15 new handicap accessible picnic tables with easy-entry aluminum frames. The Club has contracted with Mill Road Manufacturing to build the table frames and the Lions’ Club will provide the lumber and labor to construct the tables.

In light of the significant improvements Lions will be funding for the Square, they requested Bluewater, as part of their regular maintenance activities, to aerate and over seed the grass surface throughout the Square.

The Lions also hope funding can be found to replace the deteriorated cedar posts outlining the Square. Both the Lions and Bluewater will be looking for possible funding sources to cover the cost.


public skating

Looking for something fun and active to do with the youngsters between Christmas and New Years? Look no further than the Bayfield Arena.

Free public skating times are available today (Dec. 28) and Dec. 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Spotted Cow, on Bayfield’s Main Street, is sponsoring Dec. 28 while Keys Investment Service is supporting the Dec. 29 ice time.

Public Skating will also be offered gratis Jan. 2nd, 4th and 5th from noon to 2 p.m.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Public Skating over the Christmas Break is welcome to contact Ron Keys at


The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) invites everyone to start the New Year off both healthy and happy by participating in the annual Winter Walk along Mavis’ Trail and the Taylor Trail on Jan. 14.

This is a family-friendly, community event that encourages activity in the great outdoors. Weather permitting snowshoes will be available to rent or folks can bring their own or participants can also traipse the trails on foot.

The guided winter walk will begin at 11 a.m. Hotdogs and cider will be served at the Varna Complex at Noon.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) will be on hand to provide information about the Main Bayfield Watershed Plan. There will also be displays and information available on the BRVTA, Blue Bayfield and the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy.

Donations to the BRVTA will be welcomed. For more information visit


Dianne Brandon, Carrie and Ava Sabourin would like to remind everyone preparing for holiday gatherings that their tradition of collecting empties for Alzheimer's Disease is continuing this year.

The trio will be participating in the Huron County 2017 Walk for Memories in May of 2017 and are now collecting donations for the cause.

It is, of course, hoped that everyone will celebrate responsibly this festive season and when doing so plan to donate the empty beer bottles and cans; wine and liquor bottles to their team, “For the Love of Elane and Doris”. After living with Alzheimer’s, Elane Brandon, Sabourin’s grandmother died in April 2015 while Doris Schilbe, Dianne’s mother died in August of 2014.

Empties of all sorts may be dropped off at Brandon's Hardware in Bayfield, or picked up anytime, just call Brandon’s Hardware at 519 525-8884. Empties may also be dropped off at Bayfield Convenience in their names.


Ausable Bayfield Conservation has celebrated seven decades of partnerships (1946 to 2016) in its 70th anniversary year. The local conservation authority, for more than 30 of those years, has honored local Conservationists of the Year. The annual award returns in 2017. The nomination deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has presented the award since 1984. The ABCA is inviting you to nominate a person, farm, business, or organization that does positive work in the local watershed community.

Each award winner is a business, organization, or person residing in the watershed or having done conservation work there.

The nomination form and award guidelines are available on the ABCA website at Simply type in ‘award’ in the search box at the top of the home page and then press ‘Search’ to find the page. Or, you can go directly to the page at this link:

The award is to be presented on March 16 at Ironwood Golf Club, 70969 Morrison Line, 2 KM east of Exeter.

The Conservationist of the Year receives a framed limited-edition conservation print as a prize and the conservation authority also makes a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods site maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.

Current ABCA staff and directors are not eligible for the award. To learn more please call 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email


The Bayfield Historical Society Board (BHSB) announces that Ralph Laviolette is retiring as the volunteer archivist.

For the past seven years, they have benefited greatly from his commitment and contributions. These include but are not limited to organizing and indexing much of the historical material, creating summer student job training and researcher positions, overseeing the website upgrade, researching and writing documents, organizing historical tours, responding to the constant stream of queries and representing the BHS throughout Huron County. The Board of Directors would like to thank him for his extensive work in promoting the history of Bayfield.

Although Laviolette has agreed to continue on a reduced hours schedule for the next few months, the BHSB has formally begun its search for a volunteer archivist. The key expectations of this position include collecting, storing, preserving and cataloging books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, newspapers, scrapbooks and other historical material and making this information available for research.

Please contact Doug Brown at 519 565-5187 if you are interested.

In Memoriam

DSC_0916 (3) Bayfield Lion Larry Simpson received the highest honor a Lion member could receive in April of 2014, the Melvin Jones Fellowship. (Submitted photo)

The community and beyond will no doubt be sadded to learn that long-time resident and well known community benefactor, Larry Simpson has died. He passed in the early hours of Dec. 22.

His devotion to family and friends and his dedication to improving life for those less fortunate will be deeply missed. Larry was a passionate golfer, devoted boater, community booster and perfect gentleman. As Bayfield Lions’ Club President his positive, no-such-word-as-can’t attitude infected every member and led to a rebirth of the Club.

Larry is survived by his wife of 54 years, Willy, his children Don and Debbie and his grandchildren.

Larry’s funeral will be held at St. John the Divine Anglican Church, in Arva on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at noon. A Celebration of Life will be held in May, further details will follow.






Volume 7

There are countless photographs of people in the Bayfield Historical Society’s Archives collection, but sadly their names were never recorded. In this section we will showcase an image with the hopes that one of our subscribers might be able to identify the individual(s) in the photo. Please email your information to the Editor’s attention at the address listed near the bottom of the page in “Submissions” or you can email the archivist directly at or click on the image and make a comment on Flickr. 

Editor's Note: We are now adding the archive's code to the information supplied with the photographs so that if anyone would like to learn more from the Bayfield Archives about certain pictures they can use the code to make the process easier. 

This week, we celebrate the coming of a New Year with this fancy dress image of Rev. R. M., Mrs. Gale and their daughter, Gladys, from 1925. (Archives Code: PB10009 PC)

PB10009 PC Remember Me 391 

Make your on any image and it will take you to Flickr.



 PB10061 PC The Johnson's December 6, 1953

In Issue 389, we take a look back at a holiday card sent out by The Johnson family on Dec. 6, 1953. Can anyone identify the family more specifically? (Archives Code: PB10061 PC)


 PB10070 PC Remember Me 390

In Issue 390, members of the Metcalf family gather around the Christmas tree for a photo circa 1901. (Archives Code: PB10070 PC)




Bookmark and Share  PHOTO STORY


A gift that will be cherished by future generations

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Some cheque presentations took place at the celebration event. Here, Brenda Consitt and Bill Dowson on behalf of the Dowson family present a cheque for $1,500 to River Flats Committee member Dave Gillians  

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Roger Lewington (left) and Dave Gillians accepted a cheque in the amount of $1,000 from Kelly Vader on behalf of B.M. Ross in Goderich. The funds were given to the Bayfield River Flats Project

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Doug and Terry Zavitz donated $1,000 to the Bayfield River Flats Project to committee member Dave Gillians at the celebration evening held at The Ashwood Bourbon Bar. .

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Joyce Chilton was happy to acknowledge a donation, totalling $2,300 made in memory of Don Chilton by his family and friends, alongside Dave Gillians.  

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Philip Keightley (left) and Doug Brown were pleased to present, on behalf of the Bayfield Historical Society, a cheque for $10,000 for the Bayfield River Flats Project to committee member Dave Gillians.  


This year, the Village of Bayfield can celebrate a gift that will be cherished for many future generations.

On Dec. 16th, the purchase of the Bayfield River Flats, the 4.75 acres of river bank property, beside the Bayfield Bridge, closed. The property is now owned by the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC), on behalf of the community.

The river has always been a focal point for the village. Now the “River Flats” can finally join Pioneer Park, Clan Gregor Square and the Agricultural Society grounds beside the arena as special parkland spaces where the community can savour the beauty of this special place.

In a world where anger, hate, distrust and disasters dominate the news, over one-quarter of the population of Bayfield have unselfishly contributed to the purchase of this environmentally sensitive parcel of land in an expression of hope for a better future and love for this tiny village.

This autumn, the community of Bayfield generously responded to the challenge of raising the money to buy the land and providing working capital to fund the transformation of the River Flats into a welcoming, safe and inviting natural setting.

In anticipation of the purchase going through, the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) River Flats team of Helen Varekamp, Jack Pal and Dave Gillians have been working with the HTLTC representatives, Roger Lewington, Steve Bowers and Don Farwell, to create an interim Management Plan for 2017, based on the input received from the community. This plan will define the priorities for the property in 2017.

The BRVTA has agreed to manage the property for at least the next ten years.

Because of construction plans for a new Bayfield Bridge, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has informed this group that they will be negotiating for the exclusive use of the land starting late in 2017 until 2021.

Therefore, next spring, there will be some urgency to work with the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority and other professionals to take an inventory of any species at risk on the property, get the property cleaned up, a landscape design approved, to apply for environmental grants and get some trees planted.

Christmas is a time when we often reflect about those who have gone before us. Previous generations of Bayfield residents fought vigorously to stop the River Flats from being commercially developed. Villagers had the desire but not the means to purchase the River Flats property as a community asset. This acquisition proves that some things are worth fighting for even if the benefits of victory aren’t personal or realized right away. Sometimes dreams do come true!

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Community members gathered at The Ashwood Bourbon Bar on Dec. 3 to celebrate the success of the Bayfield River Flats campaign. Celebrating were on left, Leslie Bella, Truus Dragland, Sondra Buchner and on the right, Roma Harris, Arlene Timmins, and Roberta Stemp.  


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Dave Gillians, acted as Master of Ceremonies for the celebration event (standing on a chair). The Ashwood party was a community celebration, an opportunity to thank fundraisers and donors and most importantly, it also provided residents with an opportunity to provide input for a future master plan. The committee received over 60 written suggestions.

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Helen Varekamp (left), and Erin Samuell toasted Dave Gillians who worked diligently to bring the dream of purchasing the flats to fruition alongside a committee of enthusiastic residents.  





PIXILATED — image of the week


Frozen By Gary Lloyd-Rees

Email your photo in Jpeg format to with the subject line Subscriber Photo of the Week. or...Upload your photo to Flickr.

I am looking for the Bayfield that is a delight to the eye – please share photos with a touch of whimsy, beauty, humor or a sense of fun. If you are to include people in your photos be sure to have their permission to publish their picture on-line and also send in their names and where they are from. And don’t forget to tell me who took the photo for proper credit to be issued







Melody Falconer-Pounder


Late in the evening of Dec. 25 I poured myself a cup of hot tea and curled up in bed with my tablet to check out all the wonderful holiday images and messages posted by family and friends. But when I opened the lid of my tablet I was startled out of my Christmas revelry by this message from another child of the 80s, “George Michael died? Really?”

And with that a part of the hard won freedom of my youth died too. But I’m not sad more reflective really. And a wee bit honored that so many younger than me have reached out to share what his music meant to them. I had no idea that my little cousins and youngsters I babysat in the 80s were influenced by my musical choices but apparently they were.

It wasn’t necessarily cool to like the music I did as a teenager but like it I did. The 80s British pop invasion was the world I chose to immerse myself in. It brought me great joy.

My first concert was to see “Wham!” at the CNE in 1985. It took a lot for my parents to agree to let me go with two girlfriends. I organized the trip and we stayed overnight at an older cousin’s home. We went on the train from Stratford to Toronto and then took the Go-Train to the Exhibition. (These were all first time experiences for three small town/country girls.) We had nosebleed seats and took turns sharing binoculars to see George and Andrew performing. On the train ride home the next day I wrote down everything I could remember about the concert, for fear it might be the only one I would ever get to. Song order, what the boys wore and even the banter they shared with the audience would all make it into a rather long essay for English class the following school year. I found this paper among my belongings when we moved two years ago, a memento that made it into the keep pile.

Fortunately, it wasn’t the only concert I would ever see, and I was even lucky enought to add his “Faith” tour to my list of musical events in 1988 while living in the GTA for college.

George Michael was a part of the soundtrack of my life and I am truly sorry for his passing. He will always be my favorite singer. I will remember him as a vocalist of incredible range and a songwriter who wasn’t afraid to share his own vulnerability in his lyrics.

“The greed of man will be, far away from me. And my soul will be free.”**

Take wing, George, take wing. – Melody

**Lyrics from the song, "They Won't Go When I Go" by George Michael that appeared on the “Listen Without Prejudice” Album 1990.


Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome.
Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m.

Please email me at or call 519-525-3830.


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Founding Members
Goderich Honda
Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative Ltd.
Bayfield Foodland
Outside Projects
Brad's Automotive
Bayfield Garage
Pharmasave Michael's Pharmacy
The Dock's Restaurant
Ian Mathew CA
Royal LePage Heartland Realty Brokerge


Writer, editor, photographer: Melody Falconer-Pounder
Web publisher/Graphic Designer: Dennis Pal
Advertising Sales: Mike Dixon
Logo Design: Kyle Vanderburgh, Goderich Print Shop
Special thanks to the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce
Breeze Committee:Mike Dixon, John Pounder, Dennis Pal, Melody Falconer-Pounder